Dating from around 300-500 AD, most the Axum stele seem to predate the arrival of Christianity to Ethiopia. Their purpose is almost certainly religious, but the details are not known for certain.The stele was most likely funeral monuments for Axum's ancient rulers, who may have been buried in tombs beneath them. Some have altars at the base with grooves cut into them to carry away blood from sacrifices.
The Ethiopian epic, the Kibre Negest (Glory of the Kings) tells us that Menelik I, the son of the Queen of Sheba and King Solomon, brought the original Ark of the Covenant from Jerusalem to Axum and thereby established one of the world’s longest known and uninterrupted monarchical dynasties.Impressive ruins, monuments and archaeological artifacts abound in and around Axum attesting to the solid, articulate, confident, literate and resourceful strength of this civilization. Axum’s most popular known insignia art is its mysterious monolithic stelae made of single pieces of granite with identical decorations. The biggest of them, now fallen is 33 meters high and weighs 500 tones, making it the largest monolith in the world..